Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez were on target as Mexico obtained a crucial 2-1 victory over South Korea to edge closer to the World Cup Round of 16.
Coach Juan Carlos Osorio had insisted on playing a more possession-based style of fútbol after El Tri’s surprise 1-0 win over Germany, and that’s exactly what they did, as the men in green took control of the game from the very first minute.
At the same time, it was evident South Korea would look to cut Mexico’s passing rhythm through tactical fouling, while looking to hurt Mexico on the counter. And they came close to taking the lead when Ki Sung-yueng forced Guillermo Ochoa to espectacular save.
Despite South Korea’s early opportunity, it was El Tri who broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when a penalty was called for a handball inside the box. Carlos Vela stepped up and fired home to give Osorio’s men the lead.
The Koreans found some encouragement after the break, and Guillermo Ochoa had to twice make a save from a long-range shot.
Moments later, Andres Guardado found some space at the edge of the box before forcing Korea’s own goalkeeper to a good save.
In the 66th minute, Hirving Lozano’s pass released Chicharito on the left, who bid his time before scoring Mexico’s second of the game.
With the game coming to a close, South Korea found themselves struggling for momentum, but they found a lifeline when the spirited Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min pulled one back for the Koreans with a stunning goal.
South Korea, though, were unable to get their equalizer, and Mexico got their second victory of the World Cup.